Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ashore at North Sound

People hike up Kilimanjaro to see the snows before they are gone for good and we felt a little bit that way today hiking around the hills behind North Sound on Virgin Gorda.

First order of the day was to climb up Biras Hill (approx. 433 ft.). The views out over Deep Cove were spectacular but surprisingly not from the actual summit which was an unassuming meeting of trails. Rounding behind Deep Cove we continued out on the Atlantic side with spectactular views of Eustatia Sound and on to Oil Nut Bay which according to our cruising guide is a wonderfully secluded anchorage for those brave enough to traverse through the coral head maze behind the protective reef. As we crested the hills all we were greeted with were a high-end resort development so we may have missed the snows - the pristince seclusion is gone for good. I think the next time we are up here we won't be welcomed behind the gates of this exclusive community.

Back to Biras Creek and given how hot and sweaty we were from our hike (even after a refreshing dip in the ocean), we thought the open air Fat Virgin Cafe would be a good choice. Hoping for a place in the shade we chanced upon Chris and Trudy (from Salisbury, U.K.) and thereupon commenced a very enjoyable lunch chat. It should be mentioned that the food was pretty tasty too!

In the afternoon we headed back to conquer the other trails on Biras Hill before clamboring back down over the boulders on the Bitter End side of the hill with rewarding views of Saba Rock. As we finished off our last trek we passed below the balcony of the last resort buildings only to be greeted by Chris again who so kindly invited us up for a drink - much needed water and much enjoyed Mount Gay.

As I've commented before, we always enjoy the chance meetings with fellow travellers and hearing their stories. Chris and Trudy live not far from where Caitlin is currently studying and know the areas that we visitied in England in January so well. It's always amazing how you can travel far and wide and still meet folks with whom you share a connection.

Setting out on our morning excursion
Deep Cove - wonder how they came up with that name?
We were hoping for views from the summit, but there was just a cross-roads of trails
A refreshing mid-day dip in the ocean
Incredible hues of Eustatia Sound
Takes nerve to park on these hills
Oil Nut Bay resort development
More development above the secluded bay
Rebuilding Richard Branson's estate after a fire 18 months ago
Fat Virgin Cafe beside the dock - excellent roti!
Saba Rock - bar, restaurant, resort, beach, all packed onto the Rock
Clamboring down over the boulders above Biras Creek
Henry taking in the world below him - Eustatia Island with Necker Island in the distance

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